Toddlers are full of energy and they will keep you at your toes. Although you find spending time with them adorable, sometimes it gets a little tiring and you will be looking for a break. Normally a nap will help you and your toddler to recharge that energy. But if your toddler won’t nap, things can get messy.
However, when your toddler is not napping during the day, it means that he is growing. This is the time when his sleeping routine starts getting normal. He is more likely to sleep throughout the night without waking up at 4 or 5 am.
At what age daytime napping ends?
With children, it’s hard to make any rule because of so many variations. The same goes for the age when toddlers stop napping during the daytime. However, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) suggests that switching from multiple naps to only one sleep at night begins around 18 months of age. By the time they reach the age of 4 years, about 50 percent stop napping during the daytime, and it reaches 70 percent by the age of 5 years.
So there is a higher probability that your child will not be sleeping during the daytime after the age of 4 years.
Toddler won’t nap: Reasons
Here are some reasons why your toddler quit napping during the daytime:
Outgrowing his nap schedule
You are witnessing a beautiful phase of your child. He passes through a lot of growth and developmental milestones including; walking, speaking, and eating solid food, etc.
One of these growth milestones is the ability to learn a proper sleep schedule. This schedule involves only one sleep per day. So when your toddler learns to sleep throughout the night without waking up very early in the morning it is when he is ready to skip the daytime nap.
Every human being has a built-in clock called a biological clock. It determines the time of sleep. However, this biological clock is impaired by things like bedtime, mealtime, and exposure to light, etc.
A toddler won’t nap if his biological clock is disturbed. It may cause him lethargy and sleepy throughout the day. However, as long as the sleep schedule is not organized your toddler won’t nap.
Sometimes it so happens that your toddler gets sleepy during the daytime but couldn’t sleep. This causes him to enter the second stage which is a temporary active stage. The toddler may have energy but it makes him lethargic and tired by the end of the day. This mostly happens with a very busy or exciting routine.
Children can easily get accustomed to a specific routine and this relation is stronger with sleep. It makes them dependant on these aids for their sleep and when they don’t find this aid, they struggle to sleep.
Just like you are playing with your toddler, sleep can also play with our child. This happens in the form of naps lasting for 5 to 10 minutes. These micro-naps can be comfortable enough that your toddler won’t nap for a longer period.
There are several medical issues that not only hinder the sleep of the newborn but also affect his health. Respiratory conditions like allergy or asthma aggravate with daytime sleeping. Similarly gastric or colic reflux is also associated with lying straight hence causing difficulty for the toddler to sleep.
These conditions are damaging and you need to consult a pediatrician.
Also Read: My Newborn Sneezes A Lot – What Should I Do?
Why a daytime nap is important for your child?
The human body is not a machine and it has its need. No matter how much energy you and your toddler have it is never bad to take a break and have a little nap. In fact, if a toddler won’t nap it will create a negative effect on his health. There are tons of benefits like:
- It is the best way to restore your energy and that’s why they are also called power naps.
- It adds to the alertness and helps in enhancing the performance and reduces the probability of making mistakes.
- A daytime nap can help with the mood of your toddler.
- It gives you a peaceful time and you can rest or focus on yourself.
Your child is not ready to quit naps
Not every child is ready by the age of 4 years to stop napping during the day time. Although they are not napping they show the signs which means that they still need naps.
Here are the signs:
- You will find a change in the attitude of your child. He may be a little irritated or annoyed. He may show signs of anger.
- You may find them falling asleep on their own while performing some other activity. Besides, if the nap is broken early you will find resistance.
- You may also find the lack of energy in your child during the day. He may also be yawning or rubbing his eyes.
These are the clear signs that your child still needs a nap during the daytime. However, forcing it to him is not an option. You will need patience and creativity.
Toddler won’t nap: Tips to make him sleep
Forcing is never going to work with your toddler and you know it. However, with love, patience, and creativity you can make sleeping irresistible. Here are some tips:
- Maintain a strict sleeping routine so that your toddler’s biological clock is tuned nicely. You can easily do that by fixing time for the meal, playing, and going to bed.
- Keep the routine of your toddler simple and easy. Make sure he is taking enough breaks.
- You can use the help of sleeping aids in the form of toys, music, and stories, etc.
- You can also rub his eyes or nose and kiss his forehead to make him feel comfortable.
- Using sleeping suits also help with sleep especially in the toddlers.
- Make a strict sleeping routine for the rest of the house as well. It increases the odds of a toddler going to sleep on time.
- Making the room bright during the morning is important. As exposure to light also helps to set the biological clock you should take the full benefit from it.
- The bed should be comfortable and cozy for the toddler to have a sound sleep.
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